As you can see from the most recent Gallup numbers, Donald Trump’s job-approval numbers are in steep decline. Two months into his presidency, in the period traditionally known as a president’s honeymoon, he’s at 37 percent, lower than at any point in Barack Obama’s eight-year presidency.
For comparison’s sake, here’s how the last seven presidents ranked at the identical point in their tenure:
- Jimmy Carter: 75 percent
- Barack Obama 63 percent
- Ronald Reagan: 60 percent
- George W. Bush: 58 percent
- George HW Bush: 56 percent
- Bill Clinton: 53 percent
- Donald Trump: 37 percent
That’s a stark difference, and as you might expect with somebody so obsessed with his image, Trump hasn’t taken it well. In fact, our president was apparently watching CNN as it reported these numbers this morning, because a few minutes after CNN aired its story, he reacted angrily via Twitter:
From that tweet, it’s unclear whether the president was touting Fox’s own Nielsen ratings or claiming that his own polling numbers were much higher at Fox. Either way, let’s take a look:
According to Fox, just 43 percent of registered voters approve of Trump’s job performance at this point in his presidency, a drop of five points since February. For comparison’s sake, a Fox News poll at a similar point in Obama’s first term gave him a job approval rating of 63 percent.
And here’s the most important part: I see no means by which these numbers can improve. Contrary to the hope of some, the assumption of presidential powers and responsibility has made no discernible difference in Trump’s operating style. The White House team that he has assembled has not demonstrated even a minimal degree of managerial competence. His treatment of U.S. allies has badly harmed our international standing. And once in office, the anti-elitist economic populism that Trump championed on the campaign trail has been replaced by an enthusiastic embrace of Wall Street and the economic elite, paired with budgetary and regulatory attacks on programs that attempt to protect the American people.
Look deeper into the Fox numbers, at voter reaction to the core issues of Trump’s presidency:
- Immigration: 41 percent approval; 56 percent disapproval.
- Russian-U.S. relations: 33 percent approval; 55 percent disapproval.
- Health care: 35 percent approval; 55 percent disapproval.
According to Fox News , 66 percent of Americans want a congressional investigation into Russian efforts to meddle into the 2016 presidential election on behalf of Trump, which Trump has attempted to undercut at every opportunity.
Just 34 percent support the Republican health-care plan championed by Trump, while 55 percent oppose it. Forty percent oppose that plan strongly.
In addition, 50 percent of American voters now support “The 2010 health care law, also known as Obamacare,” compared to just 38 percent two years ago. To paraphrase Nancy Pelosi, apparently the American people have to see the long-promised Republican alternative before they can fully appreciate Obamacare.